FIRST LOOK: Avengers: Children’s Crusade from Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung

Long time iFanboy readers may recall our group consensus and adoration for the Young Avengers by Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung.  It was one of my personal favorite books of 2006, and I eagerly pushed it upon my partners to read.  After 4 years of being told that another volume was coming eventually from the original creative team, that time has finally come as Avengers: Children's Crusade #1 is set to ship on July 8th. 

Marvel held a preference conference with writer Allan Heinberg and series editor Tom Brevoort to discuss Heinberg's return to the characters he created as well as to address any questions regarding the new series today and iFanboy was on hand to get the details, both to share with you and because I wanted to know as well!

Early in the conference Brevoort and Heinberg explained and established that not only was Avengers: Children's Crusade NOT solely a Young Avengers book, rather a Marvel Universe book spanning the Young Avengers, The Avengers and the X-Men given the role that Scarlet Witch plays in the story, but it also takes place within continuity.  The maxi-series will run 9 issues and ship bi-monthly, so over 18 months total, but is meant to exist within the "today" of the Marvel Universe and within the status quo set forth post Dark Reign, currently The Heroic Age. He further clarified that there are some inconsistencies though that you may pick up on.  Because they started this series so long ago, they had to make a lot of guesses about the state of the Marvel Universe and for the most part they got them right, except for 2 things:  Iron Man is in his old armor, not the current armor and Steve Rogers is still Captain America (or at least wearing his Captain America) costume. Beyond those, the story is absolutely a part of the greater Marvel tapestry and Brevoort assured, "Trust us, by the time we finish these 9 issues..there will be a point where al these events line up and sync up perfectly"

The story picks up the mystery and dangling plot threads left by the disappearance of the Scarlet Witch after the events of House of M and Decimation.  Over the past 4 years, we have seen the Scarlet Witch at various points, often another character masquerading as her (i.e. Loki in Mighty Avengers), to this Brevoort clarified, "She will be coming back in some shape or form in Children's Crusade… This isn't a trick or a ploy, this will be the actual genuine Wanda and we'll uncover where she's been and what she's been up to"

Given that this book affects a large number of characters and the previous scheduling issues that plagued the first series, Avengers: Children's Crusade has been in production for the past 2 years, with Heinberg having 6 issues completely written so far and Cheung currently working on issue #4.  Brevoort assured us that he is "Relatively confident that the issues will ship on time," and Heinberg explained that in order to help speed things along, he actively tried to keep the panel count down to allow Cheung room to breathe when drawing the massive number of characters involved spanning across the Avengers to the X-Men.

It's clear that Heinberg has a personal stake in the Young Avengers, having created the characters with Cheung back in 2005 and despite his television work schedule has been dying to get back to the Young Avengers as evidenced by his comment "I'm really invested in the Young Avengers…they feel very personal to me, I have missed them and did wonder what they've been up to"  In the time since the first Young Avengers series, the characters have appeared in mini-series and other books throughout the major storylines such as Civil War and Secret Invasion.  Heinberg made it clear that he will not be contradicting any other stories that have been told with these characters and that's been written by other writers.  From a soap opera standpoint, all the couple remain together: Vision and Cassie, Hawkeye and Patriot, Wiccan and Hulkling, they're all still together. "The team is still functioning as they were in the Siege tie-in – it's very much status quo" said Heinberg.

Avengers: Children's Crusade will have far reaching impact to the Marvel Universe.  It was confirmed that not only will Quicksilver have a role as the search for his sister is conducted by Wiccan of the Young Avengers, but Brevoort added that "At least 2 world class villains that are involved.  One of them is relatively obvious and the other, less so."  Heinberg further clarified that what makes this story so interesting is how it blurs the lines between heroes and villains, "the idea of Wanda and her power questions who heroes and villains are.  At some point in the story you may find yourself rooting for the villains.  Like with Magneto, if he's acting as a Dad, how villainous is he?"

I asked Heinberg if he was planning to address the question of what happened in New Avengers #26, written by Brian Bendis, which involved an intimate moment on Wundagore Mountain between Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch?  He responded that the story will be alluding and referencing a lot of plot points from previous stories in other books, but he's unsure if they'll be able to address everything, "I don't think we'll have room, frankly, but that is Brian's thread that he can pick up if he wants to."  Brevoort added that just as many writers have been respectful of the stories Heinberg wrote with the Young Avengers characters, they will be equally respectful of other of other creators stories.  Heinberg further added that since the story is told from Wiccan's point of view, he doesn't see him asking Scarlet Witch about what happened in her intimate moments.  

When asked if this was his last story to be told of the Young Avengers, Heinberg explained that when they finished the first series he had a bunch of stories in his head, such as the "Young Masters of Evil" and the "Search for the Scarlet Witch", but given his career and schedule in television, those didn't come to fruition.  When they began work on Avengers: Children's Crusade, he felt that this would be his and Cheung's last story of the Young Avengers, but now that he's been working on it, he's thinking of additional stories he'd like to tell.  Therefore he doesn't think this will his last word on the Young Avengers.  This could be it, but he hopes not.  

If you haven't read the Young Avengers, Brevoort pointed out that the Young Avengers Ultimate Collection, a softcover collecting the original 12 issues plus an annual is scheduled to release the same week as the first issue of Avengers: Children's Crusade and it's a perfect time for those who don't know the characters to give it a try and then jump onto the new series, which they assured us, will have strong ramifications with the Marvel Universe when the series finishes, in 18 months.  

Marvel provided some beautiful Jim Cheung art to preview the issue.  We've got the covers to issues #1 and #2 as well as some interior art, including 2 pages of pencils and a beautiful colored piece.  Check them out below and be sure to click on them to see the full size art in all it's glory.

Avengers: Children's Crusade ships on July 8th and will cost $3.99


Avengers: Children's Crusade issue #1 and #2 covers by Jim Cheung:


Avengers Childrens Crusade Jim CheungAvengers Childrens Crusade #2 Jim Cheung


Avengers: Children's Crusade Interior Art Preview by Jim Cheung:


Avengers Children's Crusade Jim Cheung Avengers Children's Crusade Jim Cheung

Avengers Children's Crusade Jim Cheung


  1. YES!

  2. Ohmigosh. They’re finally going to un-destroy the Scarlet Witch? Sign me up.

  3. Cannot wait.  I love everything about this creative team!

  4. sign me up

  5. Sin Me Ooop! ^^

  6. Man that art is fantastic. It’ll be nice to see Cheung back in action, if only he was faster

  7. OMG – to think that I didn’t pre-order this book because I was scared off by the bi-monthly shipping schedule. This may be really hard to resist when this finally hits the stands in July!

  8. I think I’m going to have to wait for the oversized hard cover for this one. It’s going to take two years for the story to come out anyway. Also It’ll look good on the shelf next to the other Y.A. hardcover.

  9. Gonna take a pass on this.

  10. That first Young Avengers, that was something special.  Something really special.


  11. This gets a resounding "Fuck on!" and I don’t know why anyone would care if there are slight inconsistencies.  Leave Cap’n Steve in the costume and Tony with his extremis armor the whole damn time for all I care.

  12. I occasionally do some pencilling and illstrustion for myself and for my job. Jim Chueng really makes me just want to give up though

  13. also what era iron man armour is that? it looks like the previous version so teh story has to take place before Seige

  14. Totally looking forward to this.  I loved the first set of issues.  Can’t wait.

  15. I’ll wait for the trade on this. I loved the original series, but somehow I doubt that even bi-monthly this book will be out on time.

  16. I’m really excited to see this. It will be great to see Cheung drawing a regular book. As mind-blowingly gorgeous as his covers and posters and promo works are, that can start to feel a bit static if it’s not tempered with some good old-fashioned comic book pages now and again.

    And its also great news that this will branch out from just the Young avengers to have a bigger story scope. It kind of makes me wonder if this was purely a scheduling issue or if there was some strategy to Heinberg and Cheung not returning to the Young Avengers until some of the Marvel U. baggage had been worked out, post Dark Reign.

    Speaking of which, the original Young Avengers collection is great, but I think the Dark Reign Young Avengers series was the most fun and imaginative use of those characters. If anything it didn’t have the most spectacular ending, but what a great cast. 

  17. The hardcover collection for that Young Avengers collection retails for $30. While the TPB retails for $35, I don’t get it.

  18. Exciting!

  19. 18 months? Jesus…

  20. bleh


    "Avengers: Children’s Crusade will have far reaching impact to the Marvel Universe.  It was confirmed that not only will Quicksilver. . . "  


    no thanks 

  21. Still haven’t read the first story of this. (Braces for trash being thrown)

    However, this looks absolutely gorgeous and bringing back Scarlet Witch is great news. Maybe I could pick this up even with no knowledge of the team? Oh except for those tie-ins with Runaways in ever single Marvel event. Less said about those the better.

  22. @TheNextChampion – Heinberg did say that you don’t need to have read anything of the Young Avengers before and still read this, so you’re good to go

  23. Did I forget to press send? I could’ve sworn I had already posted something on this thread a couple hours ago. It’s not true what they say about drugs clouding one’s mind, I quit doing drugs a couple months ago and can’t keep anything straight. I’ve literally locked myself out of the house 4 times so far. 

    I never got the fascination with the Young Avengers like most other people. The Jim Cheung art does look top-notch though, so maybe I’ll get this as an impulse buy. 

  24. Cheung’s art looks awesome. I’ll be picking up the 1st issue.

  25. I’m intrigued by this bi-monthly format. How will it affect reading/collection behaviors? Do the creators write these stories with the scheduling in mind? 


  26. HEINBERG!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Sorry..I’ll pass on bi-monthly..9 issues..thats a year and a half wait ??   I’ll get the trade thank-you.  This bi-monthly stuff is crap.